It is fitting of the American dream that the best rider in the US today was not born in American. In fact, Peter’s has only been a citizen in the United States since 1992. He has been in America since 1985 though and says that he loves it here, which is wonderful because we all love him! He and his wife Shannon (who also rides and competes at the top level as well) have a barn out in San Diego California where they are busy training amazing horses and amazing riders to do amazing things.
What is really so special about Peter’s is the fact that he is so well liked. Courtney Dye and Debbie McDonald both worked with him getting ready for the Olympics in 2008. It is not often that a top rider can earn the respect of everyone around them, but it is something that Peter’s is able to do.
It is also not common for someone who has been in the horse industry for as long as he has to have such a good reputation. I have heard many stories about someone not being fair to him and in every story I have ever heard Peter’s has always taken the high road. Peter’s, at only 46 years old, has had an amazing career, including winning three national dressage championships in a row…on three different horses! Imagine how hard it must be to train and ride one horse at the Grand Prix level, but to think about having three different mounts in 3 consecutive years, that takes something special.
When Stefen Peter’s starting riding Ravel in the Grand Prix the horse was only 9 years old, just barely old enough to compete at that level. The pair have been showing Grand Prix since 2008 and seem to get better every single time they go out. Not only have they already been to the Olympics as a pair, but they won all three tests at Aachen last year, the first for an American. They also won the Dressage Masters last year beating out Isabell Weth and Anky Van Grunsven. As Ravel has gotten older he has only gotten stronger and better. If you watch his videos from early 2008 and compare them to the pair at the world cup from Vegas last year you will see the change in Ravel’s gait from big to that of a super pony.
Steffen Peter’s skipped the national championship this year deciding against staying on the east coast for the month between the selection trials and the games and instead did a show in California that weekend (earning an 82%!!). With a reputation and competition record like his and Ravel’s he was able to petition on to the 2010 WEG team. I also think that he is also our best hope for an individual gold medal this year and is a huge asset to our American Dressage Team at WEGs!!!